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Use a Computer

The library has public computers with Internet access. This describes what we have and how to use them.

Internet Use Policy

The Sheffield Public Library (hereafter referred to as SPL) does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. Just as the SPL does not restrict an individual’s access to printed information, this library cannot refuse access to the Internet sites which may be objectionable to some people. The principles of intellectual freedom that apply to traditional library resources also apply to the resources available in electronic format.

As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

Space Bat
Sheffield Public Library
Internet Guidelines

Welcome to the SPL’s Internet access. In an effort to continue the mission of the SPL to provide equal access to information, Internet stations have been made available for public use. Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and many valuable local, national and international sources of information. As an information consumer, the Internet user must evaluate the quality of information accessed. Some Internet information may be inaccurate, outdated or personally offensive. The availability of information accessed via Internet does not necessarily constitute endorsement of that content by the SPL. The SPL staff will make every effort to provide access to Internet sites known as reliable sources. Patrons use the Internet at their own risk.

All Internet resources accessible through this library are provided equally to all library users. All SPL Internet Users must have a borrower’s card issued from the SPL and an Internet Access Permission/User Agreement Form on file at the SPL.  Out-of-town visitors that wish to use the Internet may do so without a borrower's card but must read the policies and sign an agreement form.  Any patron under 18 years of age must have this Internet Access Permission/User Agreement form signed by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult SPL staff member. Parents or guardians, not the SPL, its staff, or Trustees, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children.  Parents, and only parents, may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to Internet resources reached while in the SPL. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.

To be more specific:

The SPL does not censor your access to materials or protect you from information you find offensive.  There is sexually explicit material and other information resources which you may personally find controversial or inappropriate.

Not all resources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. You need to evaluate the information obtained on the Internet, questioning the validity of the information you find, as you would information in a printed format.

Staff Assistance

SPL staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning Internet or personal computer use.  Staff may, however, be able to offer searching suggestions and answer questions.

Internet Rules and Procedures

Please follow these rules and procedures to assure fair access and availability of Internet to all patrons.

1.  Internet user must be a SPL patron (or visitor) in good standing who has no outstanding library fines or overdue materials.  First time users will receive Internet Access information and Library Internet Policies.
2.  All Internet resources accessible through the SPL are provided equally to all library users.  All SPL Internet users must have a signed Internet User Agreement Form on file at the SPL.   Children younger than 18 years of age must have their form also signed by a parent in the presence of an adult SPL staff member.  Forms stating that a parent or adult guardian must accompany the child, will be enforced by SPL staff.  Staff may ask the patron for an ID to verify age.  Parents or guardians, not the SPL or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children.  Parents—and only parents—may restrict their children—and only their children—from access to Internet resources accessible through the Library.  Parents are advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. 
3.  Log in at the circulation desk using your Patron Number, the beginning time and the number of the computer station you will be using.  This number is on the computer and computer check-out card.  Patron must present SPL card at circulation desk before using computer.
4.  An Internet session will last no more than 30 minutes. At the end of this 30 minute session, the user may log in for another 30 minute session if no one is waiting to use the computer.  A patron may have no more than:
One (1) hour per day - two 30 minute sessions or two consecutive 30 minute
Two (2) hours per week (Monday thru Saturday) - four 30 minute sessions per
5.  Check with a library staff member for hours available for Internet access. Stations may be available during library hours from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday thru Friday 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All computer stations must be shut down at least 30 minutes before closing. Every session on the computer will count as a 30 minute session regardless of whether the actual time on the computer was less than 30 minutes.
6.  Use of the computers is on a first-come, first-served basis.
7.  SPL Patrons may use any free e-mail service SPL Internet computers.
8.  No personal software programs may be used in the Internet computers. This will help prevent computer viruses that are common on public computers.
9.  No files may be downloaded on to a disc brought into the library by the patron.   If a patron needs to save to a disc they may purchase a disc from the library for fifty cents (50¢).  This disc may not, however, be brought back into the library and used again.
10.  A screen copy or copy of articles located on the Internet may be printed at a cost of ten cents (10¢) per page for non-color copies and twenty-five cents (25¢) for color copies.  The printer is located at the main circulation desk. Patron must inform employee when they are ready to print and will be responsible for each and every copy generated while using Internet.  Payment for all Internet copies must be received at the end of the session.
11.  Absolutely no food or drink is allowed in any Internet computer station area.
12.  Misuse or abuse of the computer, keyboard, mouse, or disk devise will result in the loss of SPL privileges.  Hardware abuse will also make the patron liable for repair or replacement of said equipment.  The length of the suspension of privileges is at the discretion of the SPL Director.
13.  All Internet users or young user with parent or guardian must work quietly at the assigned station. No more than two people are to be at one Internet station and both must have a signed agreement on file.
14.  The Internet user may not be able to search the places wanted on the Internet due to many uncontrollable circumstances. Some reasons could be:
**There are too many Internet visitors and the host computer has closed or limited access.
**The database or resource is licensed to a particular institution, in which case  you would need to be affiliated with the institution in order to get access.
** The host computer has closed down.
** The SPL Internet connection is temporarily inoperable due to technical problems.
** Hardware and/or software problems may develop.
15.  At the end of the Internet session return the station to the “home” position. Report to the circulation desk to pay for copies and log your quitting time. Library staff will check your station after each use.  Patron will be responsible for any intentional damages to equipment and/or table.
16.  Parents who are using the Internet must not leave their children unattended for library staff to baby sit, supervise or entertain. A parent may have their Internet usage terminated if an unattended child becomes disruptive. The time of this termination or suspension will be determined by library staff.
17.  Please share your special Internet sites with library staff.  This will help staff better serve other patrons as they search on Internet.
18.  No orders may be placed over the Internet at the SPL.
19.  Misuse of computer or Internet access will result in the loss of your computer privileges.  The length of the suspension is at the discretion of the Library Director.


The SPL, the SPL staff and SPL Trustees expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

Write here the information you want  your public to know about using the public access computers. Information could include:

  • How many computers are available
  • Where the computers are located in the library
  • What software is loaded on the computers
  • Time limits on usage
  • Instructions on how to sign up to use a computer
  • Whether the computers have filtered Internet access, or not
  • Age limits on computer use.
  • If parental permission is required


The statement on this page should be the library's policy, maybe re-written in easy-to understand language. You could also include a link down below in Related Items to the library's Internet Use Policy.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.